The climate is generally high, cold and dry but it
is hot in the summer during which most precipitation falls and extremely cold
in the winter with average
winter with January average temperatures of around -30C. The capital city of Ulaanbaatar experiences
the lowest average temperature of any national capital in the world. The climate is a generally a stable
continental climate with an average of 257 cloudless days per year.
The major language spoken is Khalkh Mongolian and
a Cyrillic script is used in writing.
Mongolia is a mixed, unicameral parliamentary/presidential
democracy with a 76 seat State Great Khural (parliament) with a 4 year term.
The country has 21 Aimags (provinces) which are
further divided into 343 Soums (districts) and smaller sub-districts known as
Mongolian currency is the Togrog (tughruk)
MNT In mid June 2009 MNT1427 = $US1.
International dialling country code: +976
GDP – Total $US5.258 billion (2008 estimate)
GDP – Per Capita $US1,981
Ultimately, warfare between the Oirod Mongols of
the west and Khalkh Mongols of the east, led to an extended and tumultuous
split of the Mongols until 1552 when the Mongol Prince, Altan Khaan, reunited
In 1644 the last Ming ruler, Ch’ung-Chen, was
toppled by another Chinese peasant uprising and at the same time a nomadic
tribe called Jurchen, later known as the Manchu, swept into northern China and
seized the Chinese imperial throne claiming the Mongols “Mandate of Heaven” as
their divine right to rule all China.
They adopted many of the traditions of the early Mongols presenting
themselves as being related through several means, including marrying into
Mongol royalty to gain legitimacy and prestige.
The Manchu, Qing dynasty of China (1644-1911),
split Mongolia into Inner and Outer regions.
Outer Mongolia, under Bogd Khaan, declared
independence from Manchu rule in 1911 and in 1921, with Russian assistance,
expelled Chinese troops who were trying to reassert Chinese rule.
From 1924, after the death of Bogd Khaan, to 1990
Mongolia was known as the Mongolian Peoples’ Republic and was governed as a
single-party Communist state, heavily influenced by the USSR. During this Soviet style Communist period,
Mongolia was largely inaccessible to visitors from the West and until the
1990’s Buddhist monasteries were mostly closed and there was no official recognition
of Chinggis Khaan.
In 1990 Mongolia went through a peaceful
transition to a democratic, multi-party system of government which exists
today. There has been resurgence in both
Buddhism and the recognition of Chinggis Khaan as a source of Mongolian nationhood and national pride.
There are known reserves of coal assessed at over
150 billion tonnes with the Tarvan Tolgoi deposit containing some of the
highest quality coking coal deposit in the world. The Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, which is under
development, is expected to be the second largest copper mine in the world and
will include a smelter. Mongolia has extensive resources for wind and solar
power generation and has undeveloped hydro and geothermal power generation
Tourism is a growth sector particularly during the
spring, summer and autumn months – May to September.
Traditional pastoral agriculture continues with
the production of meat, milk, hides and animal fibre such as the world renowned
Mongolian cashmere. Grain crops are produced during the relatively short summer
months and there is increasing production of vegetables.
Some of the concerning aspects of the present day
Mongolian are high unemployment, high inflation and a strong drift to
urbanisation. With a total population
estimated at 2.9 million people and about 1.2 million in the capital city of
Ulaanbaatar this causes great strains on the urban environment, on basic
services (housing, power, water, heat, pollution and transport) and
infrastructure development with poor urban planning and, up until recently,
rampant city expansion and daily traffic near gridlock.
exponential economic growth from environmental effects and the
impacts of high cost.inflation and the erosion of traditional values, lifestyles
Tourism and Agriculture will continue to play
significant roles in the future of Mongolia but these too will require
increased investment in transport and services infrastructure.
is an intensely proud, resilient, determined and independent nation – the
strength and determination of Chinggis Khaan beats strongly in the heart of